Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Pop-Up Comments for Graphics.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 26, 2017)
Shane knows how to add comments to cells so that when you hover the mouse over the cell you can see the comment. He would like to do the same thing with graphics—have a comment or pop-up box appear when a person hovers the mouse over a graphic placed in a worksheet. While Shane could adjust cell size to match the graphic and then attach the comment to the cell, the size of the graphics he is using really don't make that practical. He wonders if there is a way to have pop-up comments appear when someone moves the mouse over a graphic in a worksheet.
There is no way to do this using the Comments feature of Excel, but there are some workarounds. The first involves using hyperlinks. Just follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Insert Hyperlink dialog box.
Figure 2. The Set Hyperlink ScreenTip dialog box.
The result is that when someone hovers the mouse pointer over the graphic, a small note appears—usually below the graphic—that contains the ScreenTip text. It isn't quite as noticeable as a regular Excel Comment, but it does provide a little assistance.
If you want something a bit harder to miss, then a macro might be helpful. There are a number of different ways you could approach a macro-based solution, but perhaps the easiest is to simply create a macro such as the following:
Sub MyMacro() MsgBox "This is my comment" End Sub
Back in your worksheet, right-click on the graphic and choose Assign Macro from the resulting Context menu. Excel shows you a list of all the macros available to you; you should pick the short one you just created (in the example above it is "MyMacro").
Now, when you click on the graphic, you see a message box that contains whatever text you specified in your macro. It isn't quite as automatic as only requiring the person to scroll over the graphic, but it does provide a handy way to convey a lot of information to the user.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11396) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Pop-Up Comments for Graphics.
Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!
Filling an AutoShape with a picture of your choosing is a neat trick. Excel makes it easy to do.Discover More
You can configure images in Excel so that if someone clicks on them, a macro is executed. You cannot, however, have a macro ...Discover More
Want to change the way that a graphic object appears in your worksheet? You need to edit it, then, using the techniques ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.